Food Banks Struggle to Replenish Supplies as Demand Increases

Tom Philpott reports Food Banks Usually Replenish Their Resources in January. This Year, They Got the Shutdown Instead (“Food banks—from Chicago to Washington, DC, from California to Florida to New York City—are reporting jumps in demand for their services from furloughed federal workers, whose numbers hover around 800,000 nationwide”).

Meanwhile, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross doesn’t understand why hungry employees don’t take out bridge loans for food:

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says he does not understand why federal employees who are furloughed or have been working without pay during the partial government shutdown would need assistance from food banks.

Several credit unions serving workers at federal departments and agencies have been offering stopgap loans, as they have during previous shutdowns. But it’s not clear how those loans would even be sufficient as the shutdown enters its second month.

“I know they are, and I don’t really quite understand why,” Ross said when asked on CNBC about workers getting food from places like shelters. “Because, as I mentioned before, the obligations that they would undertake, say borrowing from a bank or a credit union are in effect federally guaranteed.”

Honest to goodness, there are unconscious people who have a better awareness of their environments.

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